Tuesday, August 7, 2012
The Collected Books of Jack Spicer
Purchased at The Strand. For $6. This has the original embossed cover, which you can't tell from the photo. This cover disappeared from subsequent editions.
I bought this in 1996 or 7. I was still living in New York and I had started reading Paul Hoover's Postmodern Poetry anthology, which included a section on Spicer. I wanted to discover contemporary poetry that was not like the poetry I read in the New Yorker, so I picked up that book and started discovering.
I loved After Lorca when I first read it, so I was excited to find a collection of Spicer's poems on the cheap. I can't remember if I encountered his work before or after taking a workshop with Elaine Equi. We used that same anthology in her class and I am pretty sure we talked about him at some point.
Actually, my memory is changing slightly as I write this.
I remember now that my feeling about Spicer may have been more vague when I bought this. I may not even have read him yet, but had seen his name in the anthology. I may have bought the book only on that information–that he was in this anthology and that he might be worth reading. That sounds like a more accurate account of things.
There you have it. I still like After Lorca the best of all his books. I remember in graduate school feeling a kind of, how shall we say, 'pressure' perhaps, to focus on the later books, especially Language, because they influenced many of the language writers of the generation that followed, but I never quite took to that one like I did to the first.
De gustibus non est disputatum, as they say.
Too lazy to type this morning. Here's a link to a poem from After Lorca at The Poetry Foundation: